How To Age Proof Your Brain – Part 2
"How was breakfast today?" I reluctantly asked my patient, a 69 year old women who complains about everything. You can't please this women. She is 100 pounds overweight and despite educating her that she needs to move more and eat less, the only response I get is a sharp look of daggers in her eyes. She finds every excuse not to participate. If getting stronger was as easy as taking a pill, we'd all be super-fit in body and mind. It's no surprise her brain strength is declining as well.
On the other end of the spectrum, I'm working with a wonderful 93 year old patient whose goal is to go back home. She remembers everything we did the day before and always has a smile on her face ready to tackle her therapy with gusto.
To develop a better memory, start working the abilities you've got, but don't use. You can strengthen your memory by changing your thinking and your habits. Changing habits and thinking differently improves brain circulation and encourages the use of both sides of the brain. This helps to improve not only memory, but other brain functions as well.
The problem is that we become so comfortable with the familiar that we stay in the same routines. This does nothing to help the brain stay fit. To exercise your brain on a regular basis, make it a point to change your routine in small but meaningful ways every day. This will bring different areas of the brain into play, improve cranial blood flow, and strengthen neural connections between different areas of the brain. The regular practice of brain fitness exercises can even help to stave off dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Think about your daily routine and change it up a bit. Take a different route, learn a different recipe or walk a different route. If you're right handed, use your left hand more to do daily tasks like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, etc. As far as your thinking, if you're a normally down person, try smiling more and see how many people smile back! You'll not only improve your brain power, you'll improve your social life.
Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.